Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max in the test: For whom is it worth buying?

Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Image: Amazon

With the Fire Stick 4K Max, the Fire TV series from Amazon now gets its strongest representative in the compact class. DIGITAL TELEVISION has already tested the device and knows how the 4K Max can even outperform the much larger Fire TV Cube.

There is a lot going on in the streaming hardware market right now – one product innovation chases the next. Only recently, US pioneer and market leader Roku landed in Germany with its affordable and easy-to-use devices. In particular, the Roku Streambar was able to draw attention to the new provider with a hitherto unique balancing act between soundbar and streaming hardware.

So far, the local business with cheap streaming hardware has been dominated by the tech empire Amazon and its range of Fire TV devices. Now they are not inactive there and shortly after the market launch of the competition, a new device for the pole position among the TV sticks is being released: The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max was already released for delivery in the course of the week. But what makes the successor to the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K so special? It’s actually easy to explain.

New Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max: Wi-Fi 6 included

The most important new feature of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is probably the support of the new Wi-Fi 6. This significantly improves the connection quality and speed in the wireless home network – as long as the necessary compatible hardware is active in the WLAN and sends a corresponding signal.

Image: On the left the new Fire Stick 4K Max, next to it an older model of the series – of course without UHD. The difference in weight and size suggests that there is more power under the hood on the left.

Otherwise, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max with its UHD and HDR image is technically superior to the Fire TV Stick Lite and Fire TV Stick without 4K, but it has significantly less computing power than the Fire TV Cube. In view of the different formats, this is not surprising, after all, the Fire TV Cube as the flagship of the screenless Fire TV devices is significantly larger and also costs considerably more than the new prime among the Fire TV sticks. However, one thing remains to be said: With the Wi-Fi 6 support, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is still a bit ahead of the older Fire TV Cube.

For whom is the switch to the new model worthwhile? Quite simple: Anyone who still has an older Fire TV Stick and is longing for an upgrade in image quality is well advised with the new 4K stick – Anyone who already has a 4K-capable Fire Stick or even a Fire Cube also has the new Wi-Fi -Fi 6 compatibility not too many compelling reasons to buy the new hardware.

Nice pictures, exhausting menu

Why a streaming device at UHD level at the clear prices on the market is a good idea becomes apparent immediately when you switch on the now numerous high-quality moving image formats on streaming services such as Netflix (“Squid Game”), Disney + (“The Mandalorian”) or Apple TV + (“Foundation”) via the new 4K stick – including Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. In combination with a corresponding TV screen and sound equipment, UHD and HDR raise the video diet to another level – and meanwhile there are more and more films and series that are specially created for the UHD cosmos.

The fact that the Fire TV software is much more confusing in terms of the user interface than that of an Apple TV is nothing new and not a specific weakness of the new Fire TV Stick 4K Max. If you want it really simple and clear, you can use the new Roku OS in this country maybe better advice – but has to forego some compatibilities that Amazon Fire TV has long been offering as the long-established top dog of streaming platform operators.

  • More information on the release of the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is available to be found here
Image: On the left the extremely sparsely equipped Lite remote control, next to it the much more comfortably equipped remote of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max with volume control and quick selection buttons

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